This Song is Not For You
By Laura Nowlin
January 5, 2016; Trade Paper ISBN 9781492602903
Title: This Song is Not For You
Author: Laura Nowlin
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He’s one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she really wants to kiss him…
Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way—she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Still, they complement each other perfectly, both as best friends and as a band.
Then they meet Tom. Tom makes music too, and he’s the band’s missing piece. The three quickly become inseparable. Except Ramona’s falling in love with Tom. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?
Excerpt from This Song is Not For You:
Tom was plugging in what looked like a set of guitar pedals without a guitar. He looked up at Ramona and then at me.
“You know that video you guys posted last week?” he said. “I came up with something that I think would sound cool with that, if you wanna mess around with it.”
“Sure,” Ramona said. She played a drumroll and I headed over to my guitar and put it back on. I turned my back to them and strummed the high E string. Behind me I heard Ramona start to swing into the song’s tempo.
I try as hard as I can to not watch Ramona when she’s playing. I mean, it’s not possible to never look at her, because so much of playing together is about communicating without talking. But I try to look at Ramona as little as I can.
Ramona is really talented. And determined.
She doesn’t care when playing makes her sweaty and messes up her hair.
And she makes these faces.
I was saved from remembering some specific times I’ve seen Ramona during practice by a noise behind me. It was like wind chimes. Alien wind chimes from a robot planet. I looked over my shoulder. Tom was bent over the pedals and the chaos something. He was making this haunting electronic sound. I could hear where my guitar would fit in. I started the opening chords for the song. I closed my eyes and focused on Ramona’s drumming. My body began to move with the time she set. The sound of her stick striking the tom hit my back again and again.
Whenever Ramona eats candy, she arranges it by color first. It’s not like an obsessive–compulsive thing. She just thinks it’s fun. She usually doesn’t like anything orange, so she often gives those to me. Greens are her favorites.
Her sneeze is really weird. She scrunches up her face and makes a noise like a tiny snort. It’s like she’s trying to stop the sneeze from getting away.
Ramona’s mother started giving her piano lessons when she was four. She died when Ramona was nine, and her father hired someone from the academy to give her lessons after that. She still has private lessons, and she never talks about her mother.
We like to watch really bad shows together so we can make fun of the dialogue. Shows about psychics solving crimes are the most fun. Ramona is really good at predicting what the psychics will say next.
Ramona can’t stand people who put up a false front. “Poseur” is her darkest insult.
She’s fun, and she’s real.
Ramona’s an assertive girl, and if she was into me as more than a friend, she would have just said so a long time ago. She’s trusted me with her friendship, and I’m not going to ever put that at risk.
I turned around.
From over her kit, Ramona met my eyes. She grinned and bit her lip. We sounded good. Tom filled out the song without drowning either of us out. I could tell the guy knows what he’s doing. Ramona played a fill, closed her eyes, and threw her head back.
I turned away again.
Laura Nowlin holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Missouri State University. When she isn’t at home agonizing over her own novels, Laura works at the public library, where the patrons give her plenty of inspiration for her writing. She lives in St. Louis with her musician husband, neurotic dog, and psychotic cat.
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